Learn what kind of food, diet, cages, bedding, and toys are good for your little pet rats!
Pet Rats - Dangerous litter and bedding for your rats
Unsafe Rats Litter and Cage BeddingRats are hardy creatures, but giving them the wrong kind of bedding can cause them to develop various ailments!
Cedar or Pine
Pine Bedding and Spruce Shavings (a type of pine)
NEVER use Cedar or Pine (softwood) bedding or shavings - it's TOXIC! They contain chemicals called phenols (aromatic hydrocarbons) that can cause respiratory problems in your rats, and are best avoided. This toxic substance is what gives the litter the strong aromatic smell, which covers up the odours of urine, but at a hazardous cost to your rats.
And don't be fooled by kiln-dried Cedar or Pine bedding. It is controversial whether or not this actually makes it any safer as it doesn't seem to completely get rid of toxic hydrocarbons and phenols. So why risk your pet's health?
Unfortunately, Cedar or Pine (softwood) bedding or shavings are usually sold in pet stores right next to the rodent supplies. In fact, they are the most widely promoted form of bedding, so be aware!
Clay Kitty Litter
Avoid clay kitty litter at all costs. If swallowed, clay litter naturally clumps together, forming a deadly lump in the rat's stomach. If you want a litter that is similar to clay litter, but non-toxic, there is a product called Max's, made from rice hulls. If you want to use clay kitty litter to line your rats' litter tray, use only small amounts of large granule, non-dusty, non-clumping clay litter.
Corn Cob Bedding
When wet, corncob bedding tends to rot and grow mold causing an unpleasant odour and an increase in bacteria within the animals environment. If you opt to use corn cob on the cage botton then keep in mind that it has to be changed often. Corn cob is best used in the litter box instead.
Check out the Recommended Bedding and Litter for Pet Rats instead.
FancyPetRats.com last updated 8 Feb, 2017